Lee Chong Wei ensured his second success on home soil in 2012 after his Super Series success in January as Malaysia claimed 4 of the 5 titles this week.
Lee Takes Title
It was a far from dominant display from the world number 1 this week but nevertheless Lee Chong Wei claimed the title in a three game final against the unseeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro. After losing the opening game 21-17, the world number 1 dropped just another 18 points on route to the title. For Kuncoro, it was a positive week that far from reflect his drop in the world rankings to 79 as he defeated three players inside the top 50 in the world.
Three More Titles For Malaysia
Koo and Tan claimed the men’s doubles title, dropping just a single game in the process as Malaysia swept the doubles events. The world number 9 pairing of Chan and Goh have had an excellent year to date and claimed the mixed doubles title without the loss of a game. Chin and Wong defeated the top seeded Sari and Yao in the women’s doubles to claim Malaysia’s fourth title of the week, with the 2nd seeds defeating the Singapore pairing in two tight games.
Busanan Ongbumrungpan claimed the women’s title, as the Thai player defeated another unseeded player in Sayaka Takahashi in the final with the world number 157 claiming the title in two games.
Malaysia have dominated play at their home GP Gold event with Lee Chong Wei as well as Koo and Tan giving plenty reasons for celebration going into the weekend’s play.
Lee Taken To Three
Chong Wei Feng gave the world number 1 a scare in his quarter final, taking Lee Chong Wei to three games before the top seed eventually advanced into the semi final. His opponent in the semi final is Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, a player who narrowly missed out on the Olympic qualifying standard but has been in excellent form this week. The third seed defeated Sourabh Varma of India to ensure his third straight two game victory on route to the last 4.
The other semi final sees the unseeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro take on Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, with hopes of an all-Malaysia final looming large. Kuncoro needed 76 minutes to defeat the 5th seeded Ueda of Japan to ensure his place in the last 4 whilst Hashim has progressed through with four easy wins.
One Seed Left In Women’s Singles Draw
Only P.V. Sindhu remains from the four seeds that started the week, with the Indian taking on Sayaka Takahashi who is looking to reach her highest ever world ranking. Currently 100th in the world, her previous best was 98th but a good run this week would see her top that. The other semi final features Xing Aiying of Singapore and Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand. The duo played just 6 weeks ago and despite being ranked 90 places lower in the rankings, it was the Thai player who won the match in Vietnam in two games.
Whilst most of the Chinese squad have begun a likely 3-month camp ahead of the Olympics, the world number 1 is on home soil this week and has progressed into the quarter finals.
Lee Starts Off Strong
42 minutes was all the world number 1 needed to reach the last 8, with a 19 minute demolition of Michael Fowke in is opening round match and later in the afternoon needed just 23 minutes to defeat his Indian opponent and set up a quarter final against Chong Wei Feng in an all-Malaysian clash. The 2nd seeded Tien Minh Nguyen crashed out in his second match of the day, losing to Sony Dwi Kuncoro in two games. Kuncoro takes on Takuma Ueda of Japan, seeded 5th this week.
The 2nd seeded Minatsu Mitani crashed out of the women’s singles in her opening game to Singapore’s Xing Aiying and takes on Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the quarter finals. Okuhara was ranked inside the top 60 just a few months previously and is looking improve on her current ranking of 104. The top seeded Sindhu of India is safely into the last 8 where she takes on her own Japanese opponent in Kana Ito who was ranked outside the top 200 last summer herself. Whilst Sindhu’s rise from outside the top 100 to 26th in the world would see her ranking improve further with a win this week.